Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Seeing Spots in Black and White


As a pattern, the poor polka dot can get a bit of a bad press: it's too cutesy, too retro, too obvious. Well, it's had a bit of a make-over. Like Sandy in Grease, the polka dot has realised the power of a bit of black in making itself look that bit cooler (thankfully it has not also discovered smoking and leather trousers). It's springing up all over the place in moody shades of black and white.


The result is that this oh-so-common pattern is looking fresh again. This smock dress in jacquard spot is nicely laid back: dressy without being dressed up. And it's only £26 from ASOS


Your sofa could probably do with a makeover too and a cushion is by far cheaper than a whole new sofa (although I'd personally LOVE a polka dot sofa). Ferm Living's cylinder cushion is £49 from Couverture & The Garbstore and offers both additional comfort and additional cool.


If they're in Net-a-Porter, you know polka dots are having something of a fashion moment and, yes, it's them who are selling these Converse polka dot sneakers. And in suede no less. Get yourself a pair for £60.


You can even DIY your dots. Made in Design sell packs of mini dot stickers you can use wherever you think could benefit from being turned a little dotty. You get 54 in a set for £16.


Dots are also great at adding a dash to accessories. I love Monki's Gala spot print backpack but it's New Look's Rylan satchel that pulls off being both pretty and practical. It's cheap too: available for £19.99 from ASOS.


H&M, meanwhile, have aspirations to spotify your bathroom. This soap pump is only £4.99, while you can pick up a matching storage basket or toothbrush mug too.


My continued River Island high street crush gets ramped up another level with this polka dot midi skirt, £28: perfect for greyer days with black tights, and sunnier ones with bare legs and sandals.


Okay, this is grey and white, rather than black and white, but it would be criminal for me to leave out Mini Moderns's new Peggy wallpaper. The pattern is inspired by a peg board but it's a thousand times chicer. It's £45 a roll.


If papering an entire wall is too much, this polka dot hair tie is perfect for the commitment phobe. It's a mere fiver from Oasis.


But if all that seems a little too earnest for your tastes, this cushion from Rockett St George is a reminder of the sillier side of spots. These black spots are inhabited by the likes of giraffes and horses as well as dancers. I do hope they are doing the polka.

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